AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It is a new step in the saga of Augusta ambulance service, a step some did not expect.
“As far as all these bids going out, I wasn’t aware of it until just two days ago and I’m not happy with it,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.
This week the city is sending out 153 requests for proposals to ambulance companies seeking bids to partner with Augusta for ambulance service.
The city procurement department says it’s following the city code, and some commissioners agree with the decision.
“Augusta needs to go out and find a permanent provider that is going to do what needs to be done here in Augusta and that is pick people up,“ said Commissioner Bobby Williams.
But Augusta is facing a time issue, the bids are due February 6th and the city is facing a February 10th deadline to have its application to the state with an ambulance provider under contract, that has some questioning going out for bids.
“We have no idea what we will receive on these proposals, or do we know the price that it will cost us then we’re forced to make a decision in a short period of time,” said Commissioner Alvin Mason.
Augusta has spent months working on a new ambulance contract, now it’s looking at being forced to make a decision with time running out.
“We could have avoided this had commissioners voted to go into negotiations, had Gold Cross not given up the zone, had we just done what the voters elected us to do, to have conversations to make things happen on their behalf,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson.
Gold Cross stays on the job for now, contracting with the city to provide service on a month to month basis, until the next provider is up and running.